Best restaurants in Uttar Pradesh

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lucknow

    Tunday Kababi

    This is the cleaner, more tourist-friendly outlet of Lucknow's renowned, 100-year-old, impossible-to-find kebab shop in Chowk, where buffalo-meat kebabs go for ₹20 a plate. Here the prices are higher, but the staff put on quite a show streetside for to-go orders, while the proper restaurant behind dishes up scrumptious plates of mutton biryani, kebabs and tandoori chicken for throngs of carnivores.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Agra

    Esphahan

    There are only two sittings each evening at Agra's finest restaurant, so booking ahead is essential, especially as non-hotel-guest tables are limited. The exquisite menu is chock-full of unique delicacies, with the modern fusion tasting menus and Indian thalis offering the best selection.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Varanasi

    Brown Bread Bakery

    This restaurant's fabulous menu includes more than 40 varieties of European-quality cheese and more than 30 types of bread, cookies and cakes – along with excellent pastas, sandwiches and breakfasts. Sit downstairs at street level or upstairs at the casual rooftop cafe, with seating on cushions around low tables and glimpses of the Ganges.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lucknow

    Oudhyana

    If you want to savour the flavours of the Nawabs performing at their culinary best, look no further than Oudhyana, where Chef Nagendra Singh gives Lucknow's famous Awadh cuisine its royal due at this signature restaurant inside the city's top hotel.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Agra

    Mama Chicken

    This superstar dhaba (casual eatery) is a must: duelling veg and nonveg glorified street stalls employ 24 cooks during the rush, each of whom handles outdoor tandoors, grills or pots. They whip up outrageously good 'franky' rolls (like a flatbread wrap) – including a buttery-soft chicken tikka variety – along with excellent chicken curries, superb naan breads and evening-only chicken tandoori momos (Tibetan dumplings).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Varanasi

    Darbhanga

    Seriously some of the best Indian food we've ever had. The palak chaman (paneer in spinach and spices) is heaven in your mouth and the aloo chaat (fried pieces of parboiled potato mixed with chickpeas and chopped onions, and garnished with spices and chutney) is a gourmet-street-food revelation. There's also a good list of Continental and Thai options. For nonguests there's a minimum charge of ₹1000 per person. It's a classy night out that's worth it.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Agra

    Pinch of Spice

    This modern North Indian superstar is the best spot outside five-star hotels to indulge yourself in rich curries and succulent tandoori kebabs. The murg boti masala (chicken tikka swimming in a rich and spicy gravy) and the paneer lababdar (unfermented cheese cubes in a spicy red gravy with sauteed onions) are outstanding. There's also a full bar.

  • Restaurants in Lucknow

    Royal Cafe

    Even if you don’t step inside this classy restaurant, don’t miss its exceedingly popular chaat (spicy snack) stand at the front. The sweet and savoury mixed-basket chaat is served in a crispy aloo (potato) basket; eat it on the street for ₹190 or in the restaurant for ₹250. Finish with a foot-long pistachio- and saffron-flavoured kesar pista kulfi (ice cream).

  • Restaurants in Lucknow

    Moti Mahal Restaurant

    If Mughlai meat country has got you down, seek refuge in this popular veg hideaway on MG Rd. It's perfect for an Indian-style breakfast, a snack or a dessert (try the rabri – made from chilled condensed milk and available in a sugar-free version). Come evening, head upstairs for excellent veg cuisine in the good air-conditioned restaurant.

  • Restaurants in Lucknow

    Naimat Khana

    This charming hidden corner at the back of Sanatkada has a unique concept: persuading Lucknow’s oldest households to cook their cherished family recipes for public consumption. Standout dishes include mutton korma, yaqani pulao (rice steam-cooked with tender mutton) and roghani tikiya, a traditional breakfast of flatbread with aloo qatli potato. You won't find these kind of sophisticated, intense favours anywhere else.

  • Restaurants in Ayodhya

    Awantika

    Clean and hip, this out-of-place restaurant does a seriously good all-veg menu that runs the gamut from Chinese to Italian to Indian. The special thali (₹240) is a real treat, and it's all set to trendy tunes in a funky lounge atmosphere. It's five minutes west of the Hotel Shane Avadh. Indian dishes are unavailable between 3.30pm and 7pm.

  • Restaurants in Agra

    Dasaprakash

    Fabulously tasty and religiously clean, Dasaprakash whips up consistently great South Indian vegetarian food, including spectacular thalis (₹250 to ₹360), dosas, a rasum (South Indian soup with a tamarind base) of the day and a few token Continental dishes. The ice-cream desserts (₹100 to ₹295) are another speciality. Comfortable booth seating and wood-lattice screens make for intimate dining.

  • Restaurants in Lucknow

    Sakhawat

    This highly recommended hole-in-the-wall doesn't look like much, but the daily-changing kebabs ( galawat etc) at this locals' haunt are grilled to smoky, crispy perfection – and, despite appearances, it has won international accolades and doubles as an Awadh cooking institute. Also serves biryanis and several curries.

  • Restaurants in Varanasi

    Vegan & Raw

    This casual courtyard restaurant near Tulsi Ghat is an offshoot of Brown Bread Bakery, featuring excellent vegan dishes, including a full page of salads from spinach-radish-walnut to papaya-pomegranate-linseed. Entrees lean towards pizza from the separate Pizzeria Nicoletta kitchen, but it also offers tofu, momo (Tibetan dumplings) and couscous. Friday is DJ night and Saturday brings swing dance classes.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Varanasi

    Open Hand

    This shoes-off cafe/gift shop serves real espresso and French-press coffee alongside breakfast platters featuring pancakes, omelettes and muesli. There's also a range of salads, sandwiches, pastas and baked goods, which are excellent. Sit on the narrow balcony or lounge around the former home, a short walk from Assi Ghat.

  • Restaurants in Agra

    Agra Chat House

    This classic chaat (snack) house is the oldest of a dozen street stalls just off Sadar Bazaar. Choose several dishes such as the aloo tikki chat (fried potato croquettes with tamarind sauce, yoghurt, coriander and pomegranate), dahi bada (dumplings with yoghurt and tamarind), galgapa/pani puri (puri shells filled with flavoured sauce), and eat them while standing with other appreciative diners.

  • Restaurants in Varanasi

    Canton Royale

    Housed in a nearly 200-year-old heritage building, the excellent main restaurant at Hotel Surya has colonial elegance; on warm evenings eat on the large lawn. It's one of Varanasi's best top-end choices, offering a great-value, global hodgepodge, from Mexican and Thai to Chinese and Continental. But really, it's the Indian that's excellent, including a wonderful thali (₹500 to ₹750).

  • Restaurants in Varanasi

    Dosa Cafe

    This easy-to-miss three-table cafe woos travellers with Chef Ranjana's out-of-the-box South Indian preparations such as chocolate idli (fermented rice cake), and dosa with ratatouille, spinach or dried fruit. It won us over with its choice of oil: pick from refined soybean oil (no), butter (maybe), ghee (maybe) or olive oil (yes!). Creative, progressive and tasty.

  • Restaurants in Agra

    Culinary Junction

    It's worth taking a taxi out to this excellent new vegetarian restaurant in the east of town near the Trident Hotel. The tangy and tasty paneer dhaniya adraki (soft cheese in ginger and coriander gravy) is a treat, as is the missi roti (flatbread) and smoked paprika paneer tikka masala. Service is excellent and it's a modern, classy option.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Vrindavan

    MVT Restaurant

    This mellow, well-run restaurant on the 2nd floor of the MVT Guesthouse is a great place to get a break from Indian food. The menu runs from Thai to Mexican, alongside wraps, salads and good ol' baked potatoes, plus some enticing cakes and a fine granola-banana-date milkshake (but no tea or coffee). The clientele is almost all foreigners.